The House of Novello : Practice and Policy of a Victorian Music Publisher, 1829–1866 book cover
1st Edition

The House of Novello
Practice and Policy of a Victorian Music Publisher, 1829–1866

ISBN 9781138256323
Published November 10, 2016 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

By the mid-nineteenth century music publishing was no longer the provenance of shopkeepers, instrument makers or individual scholars, but a business enterprise undertaken by a new breed of Victorian entrepreneur. Two such were Vincent Novello and his son Alfred, whose music publishing house enjoyed significant growth between 1829 and 1866. Victoria Cooper builds up a picture of Novello during this period and the socio-economic and cultural climate that influenced the company's business decisions. Looking in detail at some of the editions Novello published, she analyzes the editing style of the firm and how this was dictated by Novello's main audience of amateur musicians and choral societies. Scrutiny of Novello's stockbook indicates the financial fortunes of these editions, while correspondence between the firm and composers such as Mendelssohn reveals how Vincent and Alfred went about acquiring new compositions. With its focus on the development of a music publishing business, this study brings a fresh dimension to musicological research. Novello was able to combine business practice with a commitment to disseminate music of educational and artistic value, and the history of the company provides illuminating evidence of the commodification of music in nineteenth-century Britain.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The economic and social environment in England, 1829-1866: Economic environment and definition of the middle class; Ecclesiastical and social reform; The choral movement; Domestic music and performance; House Editorial Techniques: Sources of Novello editions; Editorial philosophy; Editions of 18th-century music; Editions of contemporary music: the Missa solemnis; Editions from spurious sources: Mozart and Haydn; The Novello stockbook, 1858-1869: a chronicle of publishing activity: Publishing policy: compositions, format, quantity; Novello's printing methods; Balance of supply and demand; Contemporary issues of the Victorian music publisher: Definition of the market and demand; Acquisition methods; Copyright law: protection and copublication; The "taxes on knowledge" and the printing duties; The Musical Times as a reflection of Novello's editorial policies: Origins of The Musical Times; Contemporary music journals and fine arts periodicals; The Musical World; The music supplements; The house journal and editorial policy; Conclusion: Bibliography; Appendixes.

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'... part of an excellent series from Ashgate... thoroughly researched... a good book and well produced. The footnotes are ample but not cluttered; the language is clear and the index comprehensive' Times Literary Supplement 'This volume can be recommended to specialists in the times and economic climate of the early Victorian period.' The Delian 'This is an erudite and well researched study that introduces one to a neglected aspect of Victorian civilisation.' Contemporary Review 'The House of Novello is a model study of its kind, in that through a thorough examination and interpretation of detail, a clear picture of the position of music publishing in the wider contexts of social, cultural, and economic history emerges, showing how a successful publisher will remain finely attuned and responsive to these contexts, ultimately paying back into society by shaping and influencing tastes.' Brio 'Victoria L. Cooper contributes the first study of the firm in some time. The House of Novello is valuable in its careful treatment of just how the officers of the firm did their business: the nature of their publishing list, printing methods, copyrights practices, manupulation of supply and demand, and the journal they published, the Musical World... Though music historians have long known Novello's publications of music from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Cooper gives the first systematic analysis of that list, one that is even more impressive than expected.' Albion 'Cooper’s book deserves praise as an example of how publishers - and not simply publishers in relation to composers - played their own role in the musical culture of the nineteenth century.' Musicology Australia